Are pip and Joe Gargery often beaten hard by Mrs.Joe? Above sentence I want to know detailedly indicate that fact?
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Although Mrs. Joe wasn't a tyrant, she did threaten and sometimes beat the boys. That is the meaning of "by hand". Pip describes this as the following,
"Having at that time to find out for myself what the expression meant, and knowing her to have a hard and heavy hand, and to be much in the habit of laying it upon her husband as well as upon me, I supposed that Joe Gargery and I were both brought up by hand."