What are some examples of paradox in 1984?

One example of paradox in 1984 is Winston's belief that the proles are the only truly revolutionary class and that only they are capable of overthrowing the regime. On the contrary, the proles are not politically active. When not procreating, they spend most of their time drinking, fighting, and playing the lottery.

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As the Party slogan has it, "Proles and animals are free." Whereas members of the Outer Party, like Winston, are subject to constant surveillance through telescreens, the proles are pretty much left to their own devices. The Party doesn't care to observe them, believing that they lack the kind of revolutionary potential that would make them a clear and present threat to the regime. Instead, the proles are palmed off with bread and circuses to keep them happy: lottery tickets, soccer, and copious amounts of cheap booze.

Yet, in one of the book's many paradoxes, Winston Smith actually believes the proles to be the only group in society capable of effecting revolutionary change, of overthrowing the Party once and for all. The reason for this is that Winston regards the proles as still having enough of the human in them to bring about change. Whereas everyone else in society has been reduced to the status of a robot, the relative freedom that the proles enjoy has inadvertently preserved...

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on May 12, 2020