From The Notebook, by Nicholas Sparks:
“Who are you?” she cries with panic in her voice, her face becoming whiter. “What are you doing here?” There is fear growing inside her, and I hurt, for there is nothing I can do. She moves farther from me, backing away, her hands in a defensive position, and then she says the most heartbreaking words of all.
“Go away! Stay away from me!” she screams. She is pushing the gnomes away from her, terrified, now oblivious of my presence.
The above quote from the chapter “Winter for Two” illustrates a multi-layered conflict. The primary conflict pictured here is Allie’s conflict with Noah, who she believes is a complete stranger. Because of her advancing Alzheimer’s disease, she not only mistakes her lifelong love for a stranger, but her conflict also quickly shifts focus to nearby garden gnomes, which she identified earlier in the chapter and which the author uses to hint at a coming burst of conflict. This is a particularly moving part of the entire story, as the depth of Noah’s love finds its full measure. In other words, Noah loves Allie so much that he spent days on end rehearsing their own personal love story in order for Allie to lucidly remember their love for only a matter of minutes. Noah knew that she would just as quickly lose that memory of their love and fall back into a paranoid state.