KnE Social Sciences | The 1st Annual International Conference on Language and Literature (AICLL) | pages: 730–740

1. Introduction

Back to You is the romantic novel written by Lauren Dane, a famous American novelist who has published many novels. Back to You was published in America in 2015, and it becomes one of the most favourite novels since its publication. This novel mainly talks about love, family conflicts, and also the meaning of life.

Love can change one's personality better than ever. Riyanto (2015: 9) states that love, in general, is a strong positive expression which transcends the desires that is often opposed to reality and neutrality. It means that love is the act of a person to have the feeling toward something or someone who can make his heart thrilled. Everyone can surely experience such a feeling. The positive love experience usually raises enthusiasm, new hope and goals. Love can grow some certain feelings like happiness, grudge, hate and a sense of belonging. In this case, love can unify different attitudes and ego.

Love can unite the differences between two characters; connect two different hearts to make the couple understand each other. Firmness, loyalty, self-control, generosity and honesty are the important elements in love and they constitute the manifestations of love. The manifestations of love cannot only be expressed in the heart or words, but they must also be expressed in action so that they can be felt by each partner. Therefore, it takes real action to prove the manifestation of love.

2. Literature Review


It is very common to see, hear or talk about love in our daily. Love exhibits some synonyms containing tenderness, attachment, caring, tendency, sympathy, gravitation, propensity, and infatuation. It should be instinctively agreed that there is an immense inconsistency and difference between liking and infatuation. It is not only problematic to produce a complete definition of the concept, but also describe the types of it. Freud known as the father of psychoanalysis exclusively interpreted love as “poly-perverse infantile sexuality” (Lyon. 1986: 160). On the other hand, the most interesting approach to this issue has been proposed Marshall as an equation: “love = sex + friendship” (Marshall, Andrew G. 2011: 6). Once again, falling in love is far more complicated as it can be instinctively realized.

On the contrary, American Marshall (2011) interviewed some 500 people in depth neglecting age differences, sexual passion and environmental diversities and concluded that each respondent illustrated his or her feelings of love in a similar way (Marshall, Andrew G. 2007: 3-7). Therefore, there seems to be no compelling reason to argue that not only do individuals throughout the world experience almost exactly the similar feeling of love, but also the same intensity has been stated by both males and females. So, by considering this crucial point, Marshall (2007: 7-8) fabricated a brand-new term as Limerence to define this early stage of falling in love. Love is generally considered as a clear reference to a versatility of different emotions, conditions, and orientations that confines from interpersonal affection or tenderness like “I love my mother” or to pleasure like “I loved that meal” and it might be connected to a powerful absorbency and personal bond or attachment.

On the one hand, it can enact kindness of human-being, compassion, and affection. On the other hand it can be served as the modest allegiant and philanthropic interest or sympathy for the good of another. Compassionate and affectionate behaviors to others, one's self or animals may also be described as love. It must be noted that although the nature of love is a frequently discussable topic, various perspectives of the term can be explained by characterizing what is not love. An important thing to be considered is that hate neutral apathy is regularly compared with love as a general explanation of affirmative sensation or a stronger form of like; as a less lustful and more emotionally cordial image of romantic interest. A further point is that love is universally contrasted with lust; love is sometimes collated with friendship because of an interpersonal relationship with romantic connotations.

Manifestation of Love

Love is word that is always spoken in everyday. It can be devoted to friend, family and people who are considered important in life. It requires worth and sacrifices, and does more concrete and real meaning. In the manifestation of love, it is impossible for a person to express his or her real feeling withour sincerity. Riyanto (2015) claims that there are seven signs in relation or manifestation of love such as: firmness, loyalty, self-control, generosity, tolerance, forgiveness and honesty. This research focuses only on the manifestation of love reflected by the protagonist named Vaughan Hurley in the novel, Back To You covering firmness, loyalty, self-control, generosity and honesty.


Firmness in undergo life may not have to the most of people. When there are many consequences and risks, it also starts to falter. The word ”firmness” may seem to stress the potential for tight grip, but we want it to refer equally to the potential for light grip (Roberts and Wood, 2007: 185).


Loyalty is one of the manifestations of love. Without loyalty, the relationship between couple will destroy. Basically, love grows because of loyalty as the love story between Kelly Hurley and Vaughan Hurley in the novel Back to You. In this story, they divorced for several reasons. However, after the divorce, Vaughan is aware that his ex-wife has sacrificed her time for him and their children. Loyalty can be interpreted also as a belief to oneself and to others (Riyanto, 2015: 49). Loyalty exists because of mutual trust between the couple, and it is very important since it raises strong emotional attachment between the couple.


Self-control is word most common to hear. Self-control indicates habit and process that is considered important in life. In this novel Vaughan Hurley try to correct the mistakes that made with controlling selfishness and arrogant to regain love from his wife. Self-control means we fight "culture" with haste or hurry. Our Self-control develop the habit for choose with consciously (Riyanto, 2015: 71).


In society, generosity is often referred to as sympathy between human and environment. It is a disposition to give valuable things like material, time, attention, energy, concessions, credit, the benefit of a doubt, knowledge to other persons. Sometimes one does not always practice generosity to all people, no matter to the environment that exists in social life. The cause is that it does not care about the existing environment in social life. Generosity is the attitude and action that will give and help other people who are in need, not only material but also non-material, such as energy, mind, and heart of the field (Riyanto, 2015: 78). Generosity can be learned and trained by observation and practice in our life.


Honesty refers to a facet of moral character and connotes positive and virtuous attributes such as integrity, truthfulness, straight forwardness, including straight-forwardness of conduct, along with the absence of lying, cheating, theft, etc. Honesty also involves being trustworthy, loyal, fair, and sincere. Honesty is valued in many ethnic and religious cultures. Refering to it Benjamin Franklin says, "Honesty is the best policy".

3. Research Method

The method used in this research was qualitative descriptive approach in which the researcher shows about the subject of the research, opinion or definition from the expert. It is relevant to Kothari (2004: 5) who said that Qualitative approach to research is concerned with subjective assessment of attitudes, opinions and behavior. To answer all the questions from the research made by the researcher, qualitative methods are suitable in this thesis. Because of the objects of this research are some elements of the manifestation of love, the use of this qualitative descriptive approach is very appropriate to be used. This method usually discusses the boundary problem based on the object of research. Therefore, the researcher used qualitative method as the center of this research.

4. Discussion

The manifestation of love in Lauren Dane's novel Back to You is reflected by the protagonist, Vaughan Hurley, who tries to win the heart of his ex-wife named Kelly Hurley by showing his love manifestation covering firmness, loyalty, self-control, generosity, and honesty.


Vaughan Hurley as the first character of the story is reflected as a workaholic man who always goes out of town with his band because he is a very busy musician. He usually leaves his daughters and his wife, Kelly Hurley, for the music concert tour with Sweet Hollow Ranch band. For eight years, his ex-wife lives in an abnormal marriage because Vaughan thinks the band's music world cannot be separated from his life. Kelly has been so patient for eight years living in such a condition. She has been accustomed to facing the rude attitude of her husband, and being left afor weeks or even months since her husband is very busy with his music concert tour. Her activities with his band group drives him neglect his family at home. Finally, Kelly decides to divorce Vaughan. After being divorced, Vaughan if he needs his ex-wife and children to live together as before and wants to be a good father to his daughter as well as a good husband to his ex-wife.

“I've lost a lot of things. I do not want. I'm here and this is what fathers are supposed to do. I'm going home from my home in Portland here. Helping school and stuff. I know you work in your shop when the kids are at school, so I can stay while you work. I want to be a better father and play more. I want them both to be able to count on me” (Dane, 2015: 59).

The quotation above shows that the protagonist knows that Kelly works in the shop meanwhile her daughters go to school every morning. Vaughan is conscious how hard the job of his ex-wife to look after their children while she herself must also work. Therefore, Vaughan wants to show Kelly that he is a responsible father for their children. He wants to show Kelly that he is a father who can pour his love to his daughters by acting of a firm care of the children and becoming a dependable father. Vaughan is firm that he must become a responsible father for his children. Firmness is one of the manifestations of love in abstract form but we can feel it through the real action in life. It simply needs a serious action to do it so that someone will understand and see the form of true love. True love is as a symbol of the manifestation of real love with an establishment that will never let the most important person in our life go away from us.

“I'm serious when I said I want to get chance again. I want us together. I want to be an intact family. You, me, our daughters. and I want you to be mine again” (Dane, 2015: 106).

The above quotation shows that Vaughan feels regretfull to have ignored his wife and children. He realizes that the divorce is mainly due to his faults. Therefore, he wants to fix his faults. He is firm that he wants to get the love of his ex-wife again. Vaughan Hurley wants to return to his family and his wife because he misses them. The excertp above also shows that Vaughan, the protagonist is trying to convince Kelly Hurley to accept him in life of love and marriage. There is no doubt to express everything in mind, heart and feeling that is wanted to be built. To have a perfect family is the dream and hope of the protagonist to manifest firmness. To realize this goal, Vaughan Hurley ensures his ex-wife that he will fix his fault. He also admits all the mistakes that he has made like hurting the heart of Kelly and their children.


Loyalty in relationship does not only mean loyal in marriage but also mean loyal at friends and family. Loyalty in relationships is more defined as our willingness to support, trust, and pay the attention as we always give attention. In loyalty, there is the value of love that unites people. It is hard to imagine that there is a love which stands alone without loyalty. It is difficult to understand that there is a loyalty without the foundation of love inside it. Love without loyalty is nothing. And loyalty without love is a lie.

“Here, with you three, makes me happy in way I cannot explain. I know for a long time that I need to find way to get back to you. I ask you to give me chance to show if I'm ready be your husband again. I am ready to be a part of this family with you and our daughters”. (Dane, 2015: 109).

Based on the quotation above, it is clearly that Vaughan Hurley is serious at his ex-wife to return back to be a couple; back to married life as used to be because he is aware of them. The real happiness with Kelly Hurley and their children is to be with Vaughan. During an eight-year divorce, Vaughan finds out the way how he can be back again to his family. He alwaya seeks the chance that he could be with his beloved family. The loyalty done by the protagonist in this case is trying to get back to the little family who has ever accepted him. Love and loyalty are the most basic things to make happy and peaceful family. Without this element, life will be destroyed because one of the manifestation of love is loyalty which means loyal to the couple that we choose and not to make a lie or to hidden the mistakes done.


The marriage life of Vaughan Hurley and Kelly Hurley ended eight years ago. The cause of the ending of their marriage is the selfishness of Vaughan that rarely gives time to the family, so they decide to divorce and choose to live according to their wishes. Under these circumstances, it took a long time for Vaughan Hurley to realize that self-control is one of the keys to success in rebuilding lost love. Therefore, the attitude of self-control must be within the human self. Without self-control, we will be selfish and arrogant, unable to distinguish between our own desires and the desire of others to gain something.

“I am indeed have you? Damn it, Kelly I miss you. Really! I'm sorry because cannot control myself. I'm sorry because ignoring what I have until already late, then for years I'm too stupid to conscious how special it is. I'm sorry because throw it all away. Sorry for hurt you. O GOD, I am so sorry”. (Dane, 2015: 105)

The above quotation shows that everyone has a way of controlling himself as an attitude of self-control. Self-control is useful to control feelings, hearts, thoughts that can change a person becomes worse if we do bad actions. Vaughan Hurley tells the truth if she misses his ex-wife. He regretted that he could not control himself because of the difficult conditions. He realized that he had neglected something valuable in their previous marriage life. And now he is aware of all the mistakes he has made. He honestly admits all his mistakes in the past. That awareness is one form of emotional self-control.

He loved this feeling, joy and satisfaction. The sharp of the pain he had felt had diminished; although his pain kept him remember that it was his choice. It is painful of the lesson for all of them. It is still feel very painful. He loves his daughters more than anything, but after three weeks to look after them every day, school, dance class, dinner and everything, he realizes that their relation more deep. (Dane, 2015: 196-197).


Generosity is a form of attitude that is to everyone. Without generosity life becomes imperfect. If a person does not have mercy, they have no sense of humanity with others. They will be shunned by their social environment because they do not care about the difficulties of others. Generosity is an important element in forming new relationships with family, friends, and special people or in marriage. When we return again in the lives of people we have long left behind, generosity is the key to getting what we want and hope for. Generosity does not mean that we will control a person's life or our social relationships, but we will build a positive attitude and also change bad attitudes to be good. Sometimes we try to be generous, but most of them think that what we do is an unreal lie. If we do it lovingly, people will realize that what we are doing is to try to show them back that we really love them.

“Of course, I'm happy to be with both of you. Your mother is very well to share togetherness with me. Can you teach me the things that I need to do become good father? I need your help”. (Dane, 2015: 122).

The quotation above shows that the protagonist, vaughan, did everything to get back into Kelly Hurley's life and their children. Vaughan Hurley said he was very happy to be with them, saying again that his mother would share togetherness like used to be. Her daughter is very happy to hear that because this is what every child in the world wants. To make it happen, the protagonist tries to be the best father as possible as he do it. He asks his children that he will do his best a better father for them. Therefore, the purpose of Vaughan is to ask that her child understand the real condition that she will change her bad attitude into a better attitude.

“I never disappointed you. You're right. But you're also right if my family is a good family. And therefore, I think we can fix this problem.....

I do not want to lose you again. I was not just visiting for dinner, then talking with or helping Ezra. I'll talk to my parents about you. About us. And I'll make sure they understand the truth I've been avoiding for so long. "It's been almost five weeks since he live with Kelly and the children. A lot of has changed. Enough to give him strength and determination to do the right thing”. (Dane, 2015: 264-265).

Once again, Vaughan Hurley says that she once admitted that she has disappointed Kelly Hurley when she was a good wife before. On the other hand, the protagonist family had a big influence for both of them, especially for their married life. The protagonist thinks that he can change conditions for the better by solving his family problems well. The generosity of the protagonist can be seen in the statement Kelly Hurley is a special woman who understands the life and characteristics of her selfish attitude. The subsequent generosity of Vaughan Hurley is that he will be responsible to his children by taking care of all their needs. Volunteering to stay with a loved one for five weeks is an incredible fortune that the protagonist feels. This is a form of generosity that is done with real action that does not deny the promise made between the two. The impact of the generosity of the protagonist is felt by his ex-wife and his children.


Honesty is an easy word to say but hard to do. Honesty requires a struggle that is not easy to convey to others, even to oneself. We will not want to be angry at our spouse, friends or friends if they do not listen to what we say. We can honestly help ourselves and others if they want to tell the truth. Honesty in love, especially honest with loved ones, is hard to do. How to know if the honesty that exists in our feelings is to say something based on fact primarily, the honesty of love we have. To be honest, we must accept all the risks if we do.

Vaughan complained. “The thing which I'm sure to say is that I'm a jerk. Okay? I already admit it, I know and now enough old to realize it. You need not have any reason to doubt my commitment”. (Dane, 2015: 104).

Vaughan Hurley, the protagonist, admits to Kelly Hurley that he is a useless person. He has disappointed his ex-wife's feelings when they became a couple. The protagonist says his honesty is based on facts and events in the past. Honesty is an important thing to build a relationship that has ever been broken because one of his partner's attitudes is very bad. Vaughan Hurley was aware of the bad attitude she had when they were still living as a small family. But he throws away all his precious time and makes selfish decisions for his own benefit without thinking of the people around him. Honesty can change anything in a short time. After a long divorce, he tries to be honest with his ex-wife and wants to make a commitment more serious than ever.

“I'm sorry for a lot of things. I'm not specific yesterday, so as now. But I'm trying. I've made many mistakes”. (Dane, 2015: 58).

The above quotation states that honesty means be honest expressing or telling fact without liar. The quotation above also explains that the protagonist apologizes to Kelly Hurley for all the mistakes that he has done. Even though it is hard to say honesly, Vaughan Hurley humbly says that he is an unstable man, do useless things, and always change his mind when taking difficult decision in his last marriage. Honesty becomes the foundation of starting new relationship after a long time stuck in a heartbreaking relationship.

5. Conclusions

After the the manifestation of love is deeply analysed, some conclusions can be drawn up as the following:

  • The story centers on the love story, marriage problems which causes divorce, and regretful as well as miserable feelings undergone by a man by the name of Vaughan Hurley who has been divorced by his wife named Kelly Hurley so that he tries his best to regain his love as well as his ex-wife by manifestating his love to his ex-wife and children in the forms of firmness, loyalty, self-control, generosity and honesty.

  • After being divorced for eight years, Vaughan Hurley is concious that his love is only for his ex-wife. Kelly's name in fact never fades from his thought and heart that he eventually expresses his feelings by manifestating his love to Kelly.

  • Vaughan Hurly also realizes that the divorce is due to his faults. He was too busy with his band group and used to leave his wife as well as children for prolonged time.

  • The manifestation of love is clearly reflected in this novel through the character of Vaughan Hurley. His manifestation of love is addressed to his ex-wife named Kelly Hurley, and he shows it deeply since he realizes that Kelly is the only woman whom he loves.

  • Various kinds of manifestations of love such as: firmness, loyalty, self-control, generosity and honesty are done by the protagonist to make his ex-wife back to him before he loses her forever.



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