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In David Copperfield by Charles Dickens, David is sent to Salem House as a punishment. Growing up, David lives with his mother and Pegotty, the family's nurse. When David's mother remarries, however, she marries a cruel man named Mr. Mudstone.

Mr. Mudstone despises David and physically harms him often....

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In David Copperfield by Charles Dickens, David is sent to Salem House as a punishment. Growing up, David lives with his mother and Pegotty, the family's nurse. When David's mother remarries, however, she marries a cruel man named Mr. Mudstone.

Mr. Mudstone despises David and physically harms him often. One day, Mr. Mudstone beats David and David bites his hand. This upsets Mr. Mudstone so much that he sends David off to Salem House.

Salem House is a horrific experience for David because the headmaster of the school, Mr. Creakle, is also a supporter of physical punishment. When David arrives, Mr. Creakle tells David that he heard he was "famous for biting" and he is "famous for biting, too." He then talks about his cane as if it has teeth and asks David if the cane has one sharp tooth or a double tooth. Throughout the series of questions, Mr. Creakle hits David with the cane. Sadly, Mr. Creakle gives the other boys at Salem House similar punishments.

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David is sent by his wicked stepfather, Mr. Murdstone, to Salem House school. It's a pretty grim place, to put it mildly. The headmaster, Mr. Creakle, is a brutal, sadistic bully who enjoys dishing out physical punishment to the boys at the drop of a hat. David manages to make some friends there—Tommy Traddles and James Steerforth (although, in the latter case he comes to regret it)—but on the whole it's not a very happy experience for him.

After David goes AWOL from Mr. Murdstone's dark, Satanic bottling factory, his kind Aunt Betsey Trotwood sends him to a school in Canterbury run by Dr. Strong. This is much more to David's liking, not least because Dr. Strong is the very opposite of the revolting Mr. Creakle. He's kind, humane, considerate, and learned—just the kind of man to create an ideal learning environment for the young David.

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