The ego-inflamed Monkey changes from a self-absorbed warrior to an accomplished collaborator. At the end, the group reaches the Western Paradise, and Monkey tells Tripitaka, "I'm now a Buddha, the same as you" (Cheng-en 304). He asks Tripitaka to remove the golden fillet on his head with which he could be plagued, but Tripitaka tells him that the fillet has already "vanished of its own accord" because Monkey is now a Buddha (Cheng-en 304). When Monkey reaches up to feel it, he finds that Tripitaka is correct; the fillet is gone.
In the beginning of the story, Monkey is too proud of himself to accomplish anything for Buddha. But through his trials and the companionship of the others, he learns greater humility and the importance of others' contributions. In the end, he is a worthy Buddha in his own right.