A veneer is something that hides something unpleasant or unwanted. In this case it is the savagery that is being hidden by civilisation.
In The Lord of the Flies this is best seen through the two main characters of Ralph and Jack. Ralph is the elected and respected leader of the boys whereas Jack is his rival who believes that he should be the chief. In my opinion the two boys represent the two competing philosophies of life on the island. Jack has his own band of followers (the choir), even from the beginning when Ralph calls the first meeting with the conch. He thinks that because he was head chorister and head boy, he should be the leader; in fact it is his idea that they should elect the leader.
Ralph is civilised because he tries to set a good 'adult' example to the others, he uses the conch which represents all the authority which the boys are so used to obeying.
He wants to be rescued above any other thing, "We can help them to find us. If a ship comes near the island they may not notice us. So we must make smoke on top of the mountain. We must make a fire." He also knows that they must build huts for shelter, but he cannot get the others to build them because they are much more interested in having fun.
Jack shows savagery all the way through the novel, as soon as Ralph says that Jack can choose what he and his choristers want to do on the island, he chooses hunting pigs which is obviously savage. Jack supports the notion that one's desires are more important and should be followed, regardless of reason or morals. When he splits up from Ralph and takes his...