I am not sure what to do, so could someone please explain what is required of me and provide an example?
For my English class, we are to write an essay that includes this thesis statement:
"The Party's three slogans - War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength - provide the philosophical foundations for the society created in Orwell's 1984."
Since the thesis statement is the general statement which contains the main idea of the essay, it is the single idea that the entire essay must support. So, you will want to first brainstorm about how you will prove, or support the statement that the philosophical foundations of the society in 1984 are these three slogans. Asking yourself the questions How? and In What Ways? will generate your ideas. Consider the main characters of Orwell's novel and how these concepts apply to them. For example, the main character, Winston Smith, whose individual personality is virtually erased after conflicting with his society, ends up loving Big Brother; hence, for Smith "War is Peace."
Perhaps, you may want to do character studies that support the thesis. In other words, you can demonstrate how the three slogans work (are the foundations) in 1984 through the manipulation of the main characters. For supporting details, you can use examples of the personality changes in Smith and those to other characters throughout the novel effected by the government in order to ensure that the principles of 1984 are made to work.
As part of your introduction, you may wish to pull a significant quote from the novel or make an observation of your own as a motivator to get your reader's interest. For example, in Part III of Chapter One, Orwell writes,
The Party said that Oceania had never been in alliance with Eurasia. He, Winston Smith knew that Oceania had been in alliance with Eurasia as short a time as four years ago. But, where did that knowledge exist? Only in his own consciousness, which in any case must soon be annihilated. And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed--if all records told the same tale--then the lie passed into history and became truth.
Now, as a motivator, you could write something like this:
In George Orwell's 1984, the philosophy of this anti-utopia is control. With paradoxical slogans as the foundation for this futuristic society, the individual loses his identity. When knowledge from an individual's consciousness is altered, then falsehoods can become truth and when one's will is subjugated, then there is no war, nor any freedom either. Thus, the Party's three slogans--War is Peace.....(insert the thesis).
Here you are ready to use each slogan to form a topic sentence that you will support with details from the novel and the actions of one or more of the characters as examples.
Also do not forget to restate the thesis in your conclusion. Good luck!