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Unfortunately, David returns to a home that has completely changed. He finds that, while he was gone, Clara and Mr. Murdstone were married. This completely changed the atmosphere of the house. Mr. Murdstone is a controlling, emotionally and mentally abusive husband. He stresses to Clara the idea of firmness, and he makes it clear to David that if he does not act the way Mr. Murdstone expects, he will be beaten. Clara is no longer the fun, affectionate mother David once knew. She sneaks in hugs and loving comments only when she knows the Murdstones are not around.The Murdstones also put David through strenuous lessons, giving him massive amounts of information to memorize. This puts much pressure on David, leading to poor performance. One day after a particularly bad lesson, Mr. Murdstone takes David up to his room to beat him. Out of instinct, David bites him, leading to a beating more terrible than he has ever experienced. After a month of seclusion as punishment, it is decided that David should be sent to boarding school in London.