She had the easily stirred passions of her Irish father and nothing except the thinnest veneer of her mother’s unselfish and forbearing nature.
But Mammy was under no illusions about her and was constantly alert for breaks in the veneer.
There was something exciting about this town with its narrow muddy streets, lying among rolling red hills, something raw and crude that appealed to the rawness and crudeness underlying the fine veneer that Ellen and Mammy had given her.
Ellen never fully realized that it was only a veneer, for Scarlett always showed her best face to her mother, concealing her escapades, curbing her temper and appearing as sweet-natured as she could in Ellen’s presence, for her mother could shame her to tears with a reproachful glance.
With the Republicans in the political saddle the town entered into an era of waste and ostentation, with the trappings of refinement thinly veneering the vice and vulgarity beneath.
There are no more uses of "veneer" in the book.
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We’ve been good to ’em, we’ve bailed ’cause out of jail and out of debt since the beginning of time, we’ve made work for ’cause when there was no work, we’ve encouraged ’cause to better themselves, they’ve gotten civilized, but my dear— that veneer of civilization’s so thin that a bunch of uppity Yankee Negroes can shatter a hundred years’ progress in five….
Harper Lee -- Go Set a Watchman
Of course, it’s not like racism is gone completely, but as my dads like to say, the veneer of civilization got itself a second coat.