There are three ways the setting enhances the apocalyptic atmosphere:
1. The circumstance of continual war: At the time the book was written, people feared the atomic bomb and the fallout of a nuclear war. War is constant in 1984. People accept it as a way of life. People expect prisoners to be taken through their cities, and hearing warheads go off and seeing wreckage are both normal life circumstances.
2. The color and care of buildings and items: Everything is rationed to the people. They have no value in decorating because there is not the resources available to decorate. Money is spent on producing for the wars, but in truth wars partially occur to spend the goods created. Everything is gray, every building is rotting and falling apart.
3. The language and labels of places and events: The Ministry of Truth is where truth is destroyed, The Ministry of Love is where personal identity is beaten out of one's self. Winston lives at Victory Gardens and drinks Victory Gin. These positive names lead people to believe they live positively, but it is backwards. In the end of time, it is predicted that man will do the same, not knowing how serious the condition of his soul is being attacked.