Higgins can seem like a jerk a lot of the time. He's fond of insulting women, insulting Eliza, and pretty much everyone else too. Still, there's a reason the play's called Pygmalion. Without Higgins, the artist, the human sculptor, there wouldn't be much play to speak of. He may be shortsighted, but he's also incredibly gifted; he does make good on his promise. And in any case, aren't heroes supposed to have flaws?
Eliza's the underdog, the brash young kid from the streets of London who makes it big…at a couple of chi-chi parties. OK, so the metaphor doesn't totally hold up, but there's definitely some truth to it. Eliza's young, talented, and committed, and we're always rooting for her. We see her go through tough spots and triumphs, sometimes in quick succession. We don't know where she's headed at the end of the play, but we do know she's changed, hopefully for the better.