For C.G. Jung, individuation means a conscious grasp of every aspect of one’s personality. His examples are not always persuasive. In a 1950 collection of his articles, he included Aniela Jaffé’s lengthy analysis of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s ‘The Golden Pot’, which argues that this modern fairy tale illustrates Jung’s definition of the ‘visionary’ mode of literature and represents a stage in a process of individuation. This chapter challenges both claims. It explores the relation between the social reality (the hero’s love for Veronica) and the depiction of Anselmus’ fantasy life (his infatuation with a little green snake). Jaffé privileges the fantasy. Borrowing from Todorov, this chapter argues that neither the social nor the imaginal reality can be privileged. Hoffmann knows the social reality should be given more weight, but he takes such pleasure in exploring his imaginal reality that Anselmus ends by marrying his little snake and embracing ‘a life in poetry’: that is, by surrendering his grip on reality. This is not individuation. As the irony makes clear, this is both shocking and comic.