Veda is the perfect scapegoat. Remove her from this film and you have the story of a woman who is destroyed by her ambitious quest for the American Dream that we are all told to want. With her, you have the story of this poor woman whose only sin was that she cares too much. Did James M. Cain intend for her to be a cipher? She's this perfect void that will never be filled no matter how much love or money you throw at it. She's both voracious and insatiable. Just when you think you've got it all with your chain of restaurants and nice house, along comes Veda to throw a new wrench into the perfectly running machinery. It's a series of false peaks that leads only to destruction. But I didn't do it for me. I did it for her! There is no happy end. When you fall down a bottomless pit, you die of starvation.