The capitalist system is inherently based on, and thrives on, competition. This idea is the foundation of America itself, steeped in the concept of Manifest Destiny, going West and taking what one feels entitled to by birth. It is an enduring narrative that continues to contribute to each individual American's sense of identity, an origin persisting as part of our cultural DNA. The resulting sense of entitlement within American individualist society has in turn led to America's identity as both one of the most affluent and privileged societies in the world, as well as one of the most violent. To add a further element of dejection to despondency, Americans have a conflicting sense of both awareness and ignorance of the violence of which they are intrinsically a part. Numerous authors, journalists, film auteurs, and other cultural icons have critiqued the link between capitalism and violence within American society, offering the possibility of awareness to the masses. In this thesis, I aim to analyze the connections between capitalism and violence, as depicted in several turn-of-the-millennium narratives, including the 1999 films American Beauty and Fight Club, as well as more recent 21st century novels Feed and 10:01. Utilizing theoretical approaches and research offered by consumer psychology and cultural theory, including work by modern philosophers and critics Jean Beaudrillard and Slavoj _i_ek, I will argue that the American ideal of the pursuit of happiness becomes ultimately twisted through consumerism into both a quest for conformity and a battle against it, and in turn exists as the structural basis of violence within the capitalist system. The resulting psychological turmoil within individuals is a form of what psychologists refer to as "cognitive dissonance," with the consumer being forever torn between whether to consume or not, and post-consumption, being tortured with guilt for doing so. Yet the only comfort is found in further consumption, repeating the monstrous cycle. Many postmodern millennial narratives depict in their characters a perpetual feeling of dissonance which often leads to the inevitable result of destruction and violence, manifesting itself along a varied spectrum, from the breakdown of family, to rebellion against authority, to ecological crisis, to outright terrorist acts. The critical awareness of the link between violence and consumerism offered to readers and viewers by many of the postmodern narratives analyzed herein leaves us with further confliction — in their fatalistic posture, they offer no alternative to the situation in which American citizens find themselves, adding further psychological turmoil and discontent. The only cure presented by the narratives is, quite simply, to consume more, perhaps to the point of combustion.