19Th Century

The book written by Senapati and Mishra (2005) is a portrayal of the nineteenth century India. The book cannot be labeled as a historical book but touched up a series of historical events with the primary focus on the Zamindari rights and colonial regulation of those times. This is such kind of book where fiction confluences with facts, based on historical authenticity. In fact, in some aspects without giving a direct narration of the fact the author expressed it rhetorically. However, as the book is a novel based on historical facts, therefore, it might have a number of verbal expressions as per the requirements of the readers. Besides this, the novel tells the story of the common people and the exploitative nature of the landlords as well as the so-called aristocrats or lord of that time. At the same time, Senapati and Mishra (2005) expressed their immense hatred about the British government in the 19th century though not in person but based on factual pieces of evidence. Therefore, this essay is going to understand the key issues that are incorporated into the novels and the affinity between historical facts and the stories.

Text Assessment

Main Point

The novel is a multisided depiction of the 19th-century Indian society and politics of the Raj and its "touts". In one level the story tells a tale of a Zamindar in a remote village of India and his act of exploitation and gradually unfolded the other socio-political dimensions prevalent at that time by Senapati and Mishra (2005). Deliberately, Senapati and Mishra (2005) tried to point out the bitter reality of the peasants and common peoples. In this regard, according to the Oriya language, the term Mahajan is similar to the literal meaning of nobleman in English. The reason behind using this term repeatedly was the pseudo establishment and sarcastically coexistence of vice and virtues. This was more in form of an irony that covered up the entire country by the powerful class of the society. Coupled with the depiction of the money-lender and his piousness and devotion to religion was also identifies the presence of rhetoric. In fact, the end of the novel was quite dramatic where the landlord became convicted by the court, led by the British government and the judge handed over his confiscated property to an Indian lawyer. From this climax, it can be anticipated that the verdict of the court was promising and aligned with the so-called concept of justice for all .


However, Senapati and Mishra (2005) with a great skill of narration mentioned the richness of the lawyer. The motive behind mentioning the prosperous condition of the lawyer was a great move by Senapati to illustrate the emergence of the middle class as a new driving force. In the social context, the word lawyer or tout has a resemblance with the growing influence of the middle class in the 19th century where the colonial rule was about to end the domination of the landlord and replaced it with a new class of people . This emerging middle class maintained a loyal subjugation to their colonial masters and through a colonial reading it can be acknowledged that those loyal servants of the British Raj were merely represented an altered form of power structure but the mode of exploitation remained unchanged .

Readers Perspective


In course of his narration, Senapati provides us a glimpse of the shift of land revenue system during the early phase of the colonial rule and how some of the interest groups succeeded to power. This transformation of power indicates the historical event of Bengal when Robert Clive snatched the Diwani or the rights of revenue collection of Bengal from the emperor of Delhi. It was the creativity of the author to garnish the historical plot with a metaphorical alternative. Here underlines a dramatic entry of Bhagia and Saria, one of the protagonists of the story, had six acres of land. The title of the novel was also being developed under this six-acre land. The land had a long story started with the father of Bhagia, Gobinda Chandra . Gobindo purchased the land from an old zamindar Bagha Singh who was on the verge of bankruptcy. This type of land grant or practice was prevalent in Medieval Orissa where Khandayat community of warrior elite were gifted lands by the local rulers . However, with the advent of the colonial rule, the fortune of Gobinda became shattered. In this phase, the author clearly underlined the exact condition of the owners of land and at the same time parallel to this, there was also a custom of land grants for religious purposes which connoted the perception of religious socialism.


In this manner, Senapati tried to compose a historical novel emboldened with the social and moral vision of the author. The essence of realism that the author provides through his narrative skill was more complex rather than mimetic or descriptive. The novel is clearly a literary evidence of the social condition of colonial Orissa. At that time not only, Orissa but the entire Indian nation was facing the same problem as pointed out by Senpati in Six Acres and A Third. The book is considered to be a picturesque of 19th century Bengal and Orissa and perceived a close link with the land settlements of that time. However, the book not only envisaged a clear understanding of the socio-political situation of that time but also deals with the tortures and exploitations imposed on the innocent peasants and peoples belonged to the lower rungs of the society. In these regards, the novel was getting composed on the backdrop of political unrest in India, the shift of power from the Mughal to the British Raj. However, with the advent of Colonial regime, only a new power structure had emerged in terms of a new classification where the middle class ‘babu’ culture was coming into action. The fate of the common people remained in a nutshell and once again became prepared to get exploited in a more derogatory manner.