Does it mean that David bit his own hand or his stepfather's hand?David Copperfield is the story of a boy whose father died six months before his birth . At first David lived happily with his mother and his beloved housekeeper , Peggotty . Later , David's mother married Edward Murdstone , who was very cruel and use to beat David a lot . Once , while the stepfather was beating him , David bit his hand . After that , Murdstone sent David to Salem House Academy boarding school where he hardly received any education . At the school , David became friends with Tommy Traddles and James Steerforth .